Dasvidaniya Dejan Lovren – Our Thoughts

Dejan Lovren came at a very unique time in the club’s history.  We had finished the nonsense of the Hicks and Gillette era: they were gone and in the rear view mirror. The new guys, Fenway Sports Group, were new to club football and while they were absolutely killing it off the field (making Liverpool the business machine it is today), they were struggling a bit on the field. FSG had some really rough early transfers. There is not much disagreement regarding guys like Mario Balotelli and Ricky Lambert, but in that mix also came one of the most divisive transfers in the current run of Liverpool teams, Dejan Lovren.

Lovren came from Southampton (remember that well-traveled road?) and was very highly touted. He was purchased for $20 million, which was a decent value in the pre-Neymar days. Brendan Rodgers was very impressed with his play with the Saints and decided to swoop in. That was the summer after losing Luis Suarez, so this was part of that transfer money being re-invested. Over his next six years with the club, he has been a part of some very “high” highs and some very “low” lows. He was about as divisive a player as this club has seen in terms of fan perception, especially in recent years. So here are some of our folks’ thoughts on the Croatian self-proclaimed best defender in the world.

Timucin Uras
I have been kind of a Lovren apologist in the last few seasons as I feel he has gotten unfair criticism. Fans based an opinion on Lovren based on the times he played with a very shaky defensive line and even shakier goalie. I admit that he made some blunders but felt those always got overblown while other players got away with similar ones. He was definitely a great choice to have as the 4th CB and hope we can replace him with similar quality. One thing no fan can deny about Lovren is the fact that he gave his 100% every time he played. Good luck to him and glad he was a part of this winning squad before he left.

Jordan Gerrard
I’ve always thought Dejan Lovren looks like he could be brothers with one of my favorite rappers, “Slug” from Atmosphere. I can remember be excited when we signed Lovren but these days I guess I’m a bit relieved to see him go. Candidly I admit I will probably end up occasionally checking Zenit’s results just to see what Lovren’s up to.

Irish Chris
He was never as bad a player as I make out. He just made me nervous as hell!! Good luck to him!

Paul Bickler
I am here to make excuses for my man, Degsy. All of em. Why? Because he embodies what makes this team special. Mentality Monster. What this bloke has endured over his time at Liverpool is the stuff of legends. You’re looking at starting your career with massive expectation off a hefty fee paid to Southampton. You start your career next to Alberto Moreno which essentially means you have play two positions AND eat shit for all the gas coming down the left channel. On top of that, he finds out his childhood sweetheart and wife is having an affair on him with his childhood friend who has ties to organized crime back in Croatia. The following year he finds out he’s at the center of a 3.5M blackmail scheme in which an informer is kidnapped. He’s gassed in his sleep, and his flag in Zagreb gutted of all his valuables. Oh you didn’t know? Yeah. Because he’s hard as nails. Never makes excuses.

Fact is as a defender you’re remembered for your errors. No one ever remembers the solid tackle, savvy pass out of danger, sound positioning… they remember the gamble that didn’t pay off. Degsy, was far better than people will remember. Before age & injury caught up to him, he was a preferred number 2 who grew in confidence beside VVD and was boss for stretches when fit.

I’ll miss em. Miss his social media game, the funny moments with Mo, his affinity for conspiracy theories… Like all my best mates, remembered for some dumb shit, but loyal, tough and worth having a beer (or five) with.

Vijay Rajaji
This is really tough for me. I mean, I got to hug the real Alan Kennedy and scream and shout with a real Liverpool legend when Dejan F’in Lovren put the ball in the back of the net against Dortmund. I mean, seriously, I was partying with a real Liverpool legend. That is maybe one of the best highlights of my entire Liverpool fandom. Alan Kennedy was jumping and hugging me after that goal.

But… Lovren was a decent player but at the level Liverpool were trying to get to, he was just so mistake prone. As a defender, you don’t have to be flashy, you don’t have to be amazing with the ball at your feet, you just can’t be overly mistake prone. You don’t have to be Virgil. But you can’t make mistake after high profile mistake. And that’s what he did

When he came on the field, as the Brits say, it was squeaky bum time. And so if that means he started a game, that was 2 hours of clenching. That’s really not fun.

We’ve absolutely seen worse defenders here. Quite a few. But Lovren came with fanfare and was just not worth it. Off the field, he was great. And his weird friendship with Mohamed Salah is amazing. But while I am thankful for his love of the team and his forever committment to Never Walk Alone, on the field, I won’t be sad to see him leave.

Tim ‘Hooch’ Hotovchin
I’ll always remember Dejan for that header against Dortmund. That was my first big European moment supporting the club. He also tried hard, and would run through a wall for the club. While he did have his shortcomings no doubt, he wasn’t always surrounded by the best cast on the backline. I wish him nothing but the best at Zenit. Who knows, maybe one day in the future the paths of the two clubs will cross in the Champions League and he’ll get to play at Anfield one more time. Good Luck Degsy!

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